A partnership between Natural England, the Bat Conservation Trust and the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management has been created to create a new scheme for the mitigation licensing process for bats in relation to development.
As such, the Earned Recognition Project aims to come up with a new scheme to streamline this process in England, while raising, and maintaining, professional standards in bat mitigation work, while simultaneously securing a better outcome for bats.
Mitigation licences (sometimes referred to as European Protected Species licences) regulate development work that would be illegal without the license, such as disturbance to bats and their roosts.
Consequently, Earned Recognition has announced a consultation for stakeholders in the development process, and is looking for responses from developers, architects, planners, planning consultants, builders and other stakeholders. The consultation is a simple 11 question survey, that is anonymous, and it will support the findings of a parallel consultation with ecologists.
Currently, all bat mitigation licence applications must be checked by Natural England as the regulator. This has become a resource intensive process that can cause delays, especially due to the fact that applications are on the increase. A new system would help streamline the process, creating a better outcome for both applicants and bat species. To do this the new scheme would set up an accreditation system by Earned Recognition, to enable more professionals to undertake the work.
More detailed background information can be found at the start of the survey, and the consultation closes midday on 5th January 2021.